Stodghill Says So

An opinionated posting on a variety of subjects by a former newspaper reporter and columnist whose daily column was named best in Indiana by UPI. The Blog title is that used in his high school sports predictions for the Muncie Evening Press.

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Location: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, United States

At the age of 18 I was a 4th Infantry Division rifleman in the invasion of Normandy, then later was called back for the Korean War. Put in a couple of years as a Pinkerton detective. Much of my life was spent as a newspaper reporter, sports writer and daily columnist. Published three books on high school sports in Ohio and Indiana. I write mystery fiction for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and others. Three books, Normandy 1944 - A Young Rifleman's War, The Hoosier Hot Shots, and From Devout Catholic to Communist Agitator are now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers. So are four collections of short mysteries: Jack Eddy Stories Volumes 1 and 2, Midland Murders, and The Rough Old Stuff From Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine.

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

More stuff you couldn't make up

Just about the time you think you've heard everything a woman has to have a toilet seat surgically removed from her posterior and it turns out she had been sitting there on the throne for two years. Guinness will have to add a new category to its book of records. At least I hope it does because the idea that this isn't a record is unthinkable.
This was in a house trailer, or mobile home if you prefer. Her boyfriend lived there with her. It seems safe to assume that sometime during those two years he wanted to use the facilities himself, so what did he do? The possibilities also are unthinkable.
Then it turns out New York Governor Eliot Spitzer didn't pay $3,100 for an hour or so of joy with a hooker. He paid $4,300. The guv got off easy because the usual rate is $5,000. Some wag said he may have had coupons.
Seventy-two is too old to take on the job of president but a number of young punks have been learning that it doesn't pay to mess around with octogenarians. Recently one of those no-goods broke into a house thinking the old fellow who lived there would be an easy mark. Big mistake; he ended up in the hospital, shot. Then an elderly woman got the better of another punk but my favorite came this week when a 20-year-old tried to snatch the purse of an 83-year-old woman while she was pumping gas. He got conked on the head with the nozzle and soon found himself in jail. "I could take him any day," the woman said.
And so it goes. Here at home I've been fighting a kidney infection that makes it impossible to do much of anything physical such as bending down. As a result Jackie has to do a great many things for me. These little services have been done with good grace although there have been a few comments about my habits and behavior. I'm understanding about that but can't help feeling a little resentful when she frequently compares me with a hamster. Our hamster Sophie seems to feel the same way about it although she usually is too busy begging for treats or insisting on being allowed out to roll around in her plastic ball to bother with little distractions.
Like all hamsters, Sophie is somewhat self-centered and is an expert at looking out for Number One, meaning herself. This, I feel certain, is not the reason Jackie believes Sophie and I share similar characteristics.

Monday, March 10, 2008

It's a circus out there and keeps getting crazier

You couldn't make this stuff up. If you did, and tried to pass it off as fiction, any New York editor would tell you it was too far-fetched, totally unbelievable.
Now the governor of the aforementioned state is up to his eyeballs in trouble. It is alleged that this champion of clean living has been fooling around with a lady of the evening. An expensive one, too. One hour of pleasure, they are saying on CNN, will set a man back $3,100. Wolf Blitzer is so excited by this story I fear he may wet his pants.
The governor is a Democrat so an organization of Republican governors - that's the part of Larry Craig - has risen up in righteous indignation and demanded his resignation. And true to form when the governor held a brief press conference his faithful wife was there by his side casting adoring glances in his direction. Why not? Life is comfortable in the governor's mansion.
Brings to mind an old episode of Law & Order in which Jerry Orbach and his partner were at the front desk in a sleazy hotel displaying a sign reading: Rooms Available for One Hour Naps. I spent my formative years just around the corner from a place like that, the Dollar Hotel. I was surprised by the number of men and women who felt sleepy in the afternoon.
For $3,100 you could have bought the Dollar Hotel. Whatever, boys will be boys and it does seem the law enforcement agencies could better spend their time going after drug dealers, murderers and rapists rather than engaging in the hopeless task of eradicating the world's oldest profession.
Then there is Hillary Clinton's latest ploys. She has been hinting that Barack Obama would make a great vice president and her husband agrees. Bill is so excited by the idea his pants are also in danger of a soaking. Obama, being ahead in pledged delegates, states won and the popular vote, doesn't think much of the idea.
But hold on, Hillary now is saying the pledged delegates don't have to live up to their pledges, meaning they should desert Obama in favor of her. If ever there has been a more unscrupulous pair than the Clintons they did a much better job of hiding their chicanery.
As if that isn't enough, the Democrats are now on the verge of changing the rules in the middle of the game and staging do-over elections in two states.
Don't overlook the Republican congressman who claims the terrorists will be dancing in the streets if Obama is elected president. I doubt that because they, like the rest of the world, are too busy laughing at us to have time for dancing. And this, we are told, is a model of democracy the entire universe should follow.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

President Hothead? - No Thanks

Stag, a Canadian gentleman who sometimes comments on this blog, wonders what I think of Mr. McCain. For the sake of international diplomacy I will offer a cleaned-up, sanitized version of my thoughts. For starters I will paraphrase a statement by Senator Pete Domenici: I don’t want this guy anywhere near a trigger.
Why? Because in the halls of congress they call him Senator Hothead. That pretty much sums up this foul-mouthed geezer. His act of a level-headed, pleasant guy displayed on television is just that, an act. By coincidence, shortly before reading Stag’s remarks I read a story about McCain by reporter Caitriona Palmer in a Dublin newspaper, the Irish Independent. The things the man has said and done are appalling even to an old guy like me who is not easily appalled. The names he shouts at his fellow senators would make a sailor blush and his admitted adulteries would be considered juicy reading.
In elementary school McCain's nicknames were "McNasty" and "Punk." He graduated in the bottom fifth of his class at the Naval Academy, where he was known as a troublemaker, a bully and a man who disobeyed orders.
I’ve never quite understood why having been a prisoner of war under very unpleasant conditions helps qualify a man as an expert on military and foreign affairs. I don’t understand why a man who has fed at the public trough his entire life should be in charge of domestic policies that affect people who actually work for a living.
Then there is the matter of age. Being 82 myself, I feel a bit more qualified to comment on the subject than those who have been around for a lesser number of years. McCain, if elected, will be 72, the oldest man to ever begin a term as president. Even for those who don’t work too hard at it, being president is a tough job. Doubters should compare photos of men when they are sworn in and when their term ends. One analyst said it ages a person in dog years, not human years. It seems reasonable and looking at it that way McCain would be a hundred after four years in the White House.
No one should kid themselves into believing 72 is much the same as 62 or 52 any more than 72 is the same as 82. Speaking from experience, thinking a man of 72 isn’t an old man is dead wrong. That’s the age when health issues move to the forefront. I was 72 when a nurse asked what prescriptions I take. She was surprised when I said none. Four years later I was taking 15 pills a day just to stay alive. At 72 the energy level begins a rapid decline. For many people – myself excluded, of course – it also marks the beginning of a rapid decline in mental facilities. For many, both the physical and mental slide begin at a much younger age. For proof, check out a few nursing homes.
So no, I don’t think a gray-haired, hotheaded old geezer should have his finger on the nuclear trigger. Nor do I believe the disastrous two terms of George W. Bush deserve a third shot at destroying the country. That’s what a McCain presidency would be, Bush III.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Democratic Party - Dumb and Dumber

It keeps getting funnier every day. The Democrats, the party of the Three Stooges and Laurel and Hardy, now are seriously considering changing the rules in the middle of the game. That's because the Clintons are losing and the Clintons care only about the Clintons, not the Democratic Party.
Howard Dean, the head man, is preparing to give another of his infamous screams just after saying the delegates from Michigan and Florida will be seated at the national convention. Or maybe saying they'll hold a second primary in each of those states. The first ones were held earlier than everyone agreed - including Michigan and Florida - so the delegates won't be seated. Or wouldn't have been. Or may be.
Only Hillary Clinton put her name on the ballot in Michigan. Only Hillary Clinton showed up in both states although she wasn't campaigning. Or so she says.
I voted for Bill Clinton. Twice. I liked him through thick and thin. I thought his wife was just fine. No more, not that I see them now in their true colors. Unscrupulous, that's the kindest word I can think of to describe them. To think that Orrin Hatch and his heartless buddies were right all along. It irritates me knowing that for much of my life I supported Democrats, but that was before the party became a bad joke.
Then there are the super delegates. They are political bigwigs, the backroom boys and girls, who can ignore the votes of the people and pick their own winner. That seems to go along with recent policies that saw the popular vote ignored and the Supreme Court halt the recounting of votes. That was followed by a rigged outcome in Cleveland. The fact is, the whole political process has become a farce.
But I digress. It becomes increasingly likely that the Democratic Party will become so divided this year that the guaranteed winner in November will be a hot-headed old man long past his prime. Is this a great system or what?
It also is likely the party will never recover, and it shouldn't. The honest, intelligent Democrats, assuming they exist, should break away from the fiasco right now and form a new party. The one they are in seems doomed. Will it happen? In a pig's eye.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Did someone say change?

Well, it looks more and more like Americans will get to choose between a third term for George W. Bush or a third term for Bill Clinton. Once again it has been demonstrated that the dumbing down of America is alive and well.
The watchword of late has been "change." People express a deep and abiding yearning for it. To prove this is what they want, folks headed for the polls in vast numbers yesterday to vote for a pair of Washington insiders, Hillary Clinton and John McCain. The latter, who marches in lockstep with Bush, will pose beside that deep thinker today as he accepts his endorsement.
It was here in Ohio, though, that voters showed the world why we so often hear the phrase "brain drain," meaning those who have one head for New York or Chicago. For years the speedy decline of this state until little remains to boast about has been blamed on NAFTA. The infamous treaty has stripped Ohio of it's industry, or so they say. Yesterday Ohioans showed this has not been idle chitchat by voting for the wife of the man who crafted NAFTA. Yes, this is truly a gathering place for the intelligentsia.
It indeed looks like come November the people of America will get to choose which Washington insider will bring about the change they hope for during the next four years. Will it be the woman with the hysterical laugh who screeches about her previous eight years as resident of the White House or a gray-haired old man who speaks in a monotone guaranteed to cure insomnia? Time will tell, unless Americans take complete leave of their senses and elect Ralph Nader. On the other hand . . .
I once was reprimanded by an editor for writing a piece that said by not voting people are actually casting a ballot against the system. It wasn't something you'd say to a civics class, he told me. He was wrong, it is something I'd say to a civics class. My point, once again, has been proven by voters.